It was supposed to be a marquee matchup in Philly with the Flyers and Capitals. Instead, it was the Alex Ovechkin “welcome to the season” party.
Ovechkin scored two goals, including one on the power play, giving him three on the season as the Caps blew the game open in the third beating Philadelphia 5-2.
While Ilya Bryzgalov said he didn’t have a book on how to defend Ovechkin, he might want to study up a little more for their next meeting. Ovechkin doing what he does is the sort of thing that helped the Caps break out in a big way.
Tomas Vokoun didn’t do so bad either in his showdown with Bryzgalov stopping 40 shots and effectively destroying any further discussion about whether there should be a goalie controversy in Washington. Bryzgalov was perfectly mediocre stopping 23 shots.
In a game that came with a ton of buzz about it as a showdown between two of the East’s early top teams, it was the Capitals that flexed their muscles the most and made the Flyers hot start to the season seem fluke-ish with how bad they looked tonight. After all, the Flyers were able to help the Caps’ power play snap out of it for a night.
The Caps’ win now sets them up for a potential clash of the unbeatens on Saturday night when they’ll take on Detroit from Verizon Center.
Check out the ripper from Ovechkin tonight to beat Bryzgalov.
For the second time in his career, Ryan Kesler is wearing an “A.”
On Thursday, the Anaheim Ducks announced that Kesler would serve as one of the club’s alternate captains this season, taking over for Francois Beauchemin, who signed in Colorado this summer.
With the move, Kesler joins Anaheim’s existing leadership group of captain Ryan Getzlaf, and alternate Corey Perry.
“It’s an honor,” Kesler said, per the Ducks. “It’s special. I’m going to wear it with pride and lead by example.”
As mentioned earlier, Kesler has some experience as an alternate — he wore an “A” in Vancouver from 2008-13, but had it removed prior to the start of the ’13-14 campaign.
It’s not surprising Anaheim went in this direction. GM Bob Murray made a huge investment in Kesler this summer by inking the 31-year-old to a six-year, $41.25M extension.
Could Raphael Diaz be on his way back to Switzerland?
We’ll know in a month.
Diaz, who lost out on the Rangers’ final blueline spot in training camp, has reported to the club’s AHL affiliate in Hartford but doesn’t seem pleased with his current situation, per the Post:
The 29-year-old Diaz, who cleared waivers last Saturday after the Blueshirts opted to keep rookie Dylan McIlrath as the club’s seventh on the blue line, is interested in the European option if he is not in the NHL.
The Blueshirts have told Diaz they will revisit the situation at the end of October, but have not promised to release him or assign him to a European team at that point.
If Diaz, a Swiss native who represented Switzerland in the 2014 Olympics, does play in Europe during the season, he would have to go through waivers in order to return to the NHL.
Diaz’s agent, Ritch Winter, told the Post that Diaz signed a one-year, $700,000 deal with the Rangers “to play with the Rangers.”
And it’s understandable if Diaz — a journeyman offensive defenseman — isn’t happy with this situation.
While some believe McIlrath earned his roster spot on merit, some think it’s because of his contract status. McIlrath, who’s only 23 and a former first-round pick, would’ve needed to clear waivers to go back to Hartford, and it’s believed he would’ve been claimed by another club.